SchoolArts Magazine

September 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 22 of 58

18 SEPTEMBER 2018 SchoolArts revealing was this process, and did you have any surprises as you devel- oped your ideas? Interpretation by Betsy DiJulio I was delighted when SchoolArts editor, Nancy Walkup, invited me to "test" Ken Vieth's accordion book lesson. I chose to work with two fairly large sections of second-year art students, including those in our school's International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, those who receive special education services, and virtu - ally every level in between. Successes and Challenges As you can imagine, results were somewhat mixed due to varying levels of skill, intrinsic motivation, academic ability, effective work hab - its, and habits of mind. There were, h owever, many successes. Most students were able to demonstrate incremental learning in some small area, even if their books were low in quality overall. Partly because I work on meta - phors with my students beginning i n my Art Foundations class, they grasped the concept fairly easily of choosing both organic and human- made objects to serve as metaphors for their personal identities—as opposed to objects that merely repre - sented their interests—and were able t o explain their selections in writing. Success levels related to the draw- ing and painting of the objects were c ommensurate with each student's skill level, effort, and engagement. A surprising number of students had difficulty designing the book. After I demonstrated how to create the basic accordion-folded framework from strips of tag board, some stu- dents ran with it, creating designs of beauty and innovation using scraps of colored and textured papers that had been donated to us. Others were over- whelmed, so I broke it down a little further, showing them how to create a color harmony that lent unity and interest by simply lining each page with the donated papers, cut to size. Solutions In the future, I would likely demon- strate the making of the book, includ- ing lined pages, in a more step-by-step, a lbeit restrictive, convergent, and teacher-driven, process. Students could then add their objects and writing to this basic framework. Or, if inspired to do so, they could embellish the pages to create an overall design of greater complexity, refinement, and artistry. I might also include a block in our media center in which all students would write and print out their state- ments and concluding quotes. Then, w hoever wanted to handwrite the Accordion book by Nadia Msalek. When we affix s mbolic meaning to random objects, we ma iscover complexities in our own lives that we did not know were there.

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